How to Ask Your Job Interviewer about Work-Life Balance

How to Ask Your Job Interviewer about Work-Life Balance

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Any visitor can requirement to have a healthy work culture, but knowing how to ask your job interviewer well-nigh work-life wastefulness can help you cut through any platitudes the employer has on their website or shares during the recruitment process. Until the U.S. follows the lead of countries like France, which requires employees to eat lunch yonder from their desks, or Portugal, where bosses aren’t permitted to contact employees outside working hours (hey, let’s be optimistic for a moment), finding out what you can well-nigh work-life wastefulness is essential.

Readers, what’s your translating for how to ask your job interviewer well-nigh work-life balance?

Here are some ways to use your job interview to get important insight an employer’s work-life balance, including reader translating from this unconfined scuttlebutt thread from older this year.

Ask employees at the visitor (other than your interviewer): One reader recommended talking well-nigh work-life wastefulness with the people who would be your peers if you took the job. For example, ask well-nigh a typical daily schedule (for regular and rented weeks alike), flexibility for doctor’s appointments, any tasks that would require night or weekend work, and so on. If it applies to you, ask well-nigh things like maternity leave (for example, how reachable and responsive are new parents expected to be?) and taking unexpected time off to superintendency for sick kids or stay home for school snow days.

You can moreover reach out to former employees. Squint for second-degree connections on LinkedIn and ask your first-degree connections to make introductions. Because people might be wary of putting not-entirely-positive comments in writing, you could ask if it’s possible to talk confidentially on the phone. Inquire well-nigh the importance of squatter time to management, the flexibility for remote or hybrid work, accommodations for parents, and so on.

{related: what are family-friendly jobs? (CorporetteMoms)}

Ditch subtlety and ask your interviewer (or future boss, if that’s a variegated person) directly: One reader with kids shared that she asks questions to find out whether she’ll be worldly-wise to see her kids regularly on workdays, be home for family dinners, pick up her kids from school if they get sick in the middle of the day, etc. She said, “It’s too important to me to not have the uncontrived conversation.”

Another reader who recently interviewed multiple candidates for a job opening commented that every candidate asked her to describe the visitor culture and/or the company’s work-life balance, while a third reader said that rather than vibration virtually the bush, candidates have specifically asked well-nigh stuff contacted by email during vacations or leaving work for kid-related events.

Don’t just take their word for it: One reader shared that she has driven by potential firms without 6:00 p.m. to see if the lights were on, i.e., if people were still working. (She recognized that the proportion of people working from home in 2022 complicates this a bit, but pointed out that having a ton of employees working past 6:00 in an age of remote and hybrid work could be an plane stronger indicator of poor work-life balance. Here’s a similar tactic: If you have an early-morning or late-evening interview, take a squint at how many employees are at work.

Another reader who said she doesn’t expect employers to be very honest when asked well-nigh work-life wastefulness wrote that, instead of asking questions like those above, she relies increasingly on specific inquiries well-nigh project timelines and her observations on how would-be peers interact with one another.

Readers, do tell: How do you ask job interviewers (and other people at a potential employer) well-nigh work-life wastefulness and visitor culture? Have you felt that you’ve received honest answers in the past? Were you told unrepealable positive things well-nigh an employer that you later found out (after unsuspicious an offer) weren’t true?

Stock photo via Pexels / Karolina Grabowska.

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